Her Time Has Come
Bond is trapped in a lab undergoing a decontamination cycle. He takes a page from Die Another Day to escape. Even though it seems familiar it does not take away from how thrilling it is. Even more thrilling, Bond almost casually walks out of the lab, checks his cell service before lighting a cigarette. The coolest panel is in the middle of page five; the steady hand that holds the cigarette. This is how Warren Ellis and Jason Masters tell this story.
Bond walks into the British Embassy and contacts MI6. He flies back to London for debriefing. It's full of dry British wit and humor that would make both John Steed and Monty Python proud.
When Bond attempts to connect with MI5, he is intercepted by Reach. She is reminiscent of Famke Jannsen's Xenia Onatopp, with maybe a dash or a dollop of Fatima Blush. Her ferocity is over how Bond's fight with Bryan Masters ended. She's hungry for blood. A little jiggery-pokery and the battle is over.
Back at MI6, her trail to London is established and Vargr is revealed. Bond is set to conclude the matter.
Ellis knows Bond. With Masters, and colorist Guy Major and letterer Simon Bowland together with editors Joseph Rybandt, Rachel Pinnelas and Michael Lake every piece of Vargr falls into place. There may not be very many surprising twists and turns, but still good, solid storytelling.
If you're looking for the type of Bond that Daniel Craig has been carving out, this might not be what you're looking for. It's not a Bond Begins, but a more established, seasoned Bond; a blend of the novels, newspaper strips, comics and film franchise. This is the Bond we know and are familiar with. There is that cliche that "familiarity breeds contempt". There really are very few secrets left to reveal about Bond and how he does what he does.
Bond is like the older, wiser gunslinger. He knows how to get the job done. It may not be fancy or pretty. But it gets the job done. That's the Bond Ellis and Masters present here.
Vargr Chapter Five earns four stars for a a thrilling resolution to a near-inescapable death-trap, followed by a well-choreographed fight, with the stinger reveal.